Quotes from Syrians Supporting Assad’s Speech

This morning, I published responses from Syrians living abroad. Most were very disappointed in the speech. Here I am posting comments sent to me by Syrians, most of whom live in Syria. Some of the more glowing comments come from a Latakia-based, Arabic facebook list named – Baladi Habibi – Mamnu`a al-fitna -waylu illi yu`adina [My Dear Country – Civil Discord is Forbidden – We curse whomever is against us] I have translated them. Many of the listers are Alawi and Christian, but there are also some Sunnis among them.

Majed: I have mixed feelings about the speech. On one hand, it wasn’t anywhere near the unrealistic expectations some officials alluded to, namely Bouthaina and Sharaa. But on the other hand, the speech was a display of strength and confidence, following a strong show of support by the Syrian people for the President a day earlier. As much as I would like to see reforms, doing so immediately following this suspicious and unpopular uprising could be interpreted as a sign of weakness that could weaken Syria’s resolve and embolden its enemies. There is no denying that the President is popular in Syria and throughout most of the Arab world; so why should he not capitalize on his popularity and turn this into an opportunity to consolidate and regroup. Why should he appease those with questionable agendas who are looking to even the score and embarrass Syria? I still think the President is a reformist. He has been slowly introducing economic reforms, and will, in due time, bring in gradual political reforms, perhaps starting this year. However, he is not willing to do it under pressure, or be black mailed into it by Syria’s enemies who are obviously trying to rob Syria out of its political gains from the recent revolutions in the “moderate Arab” camp who sided with Israel and the U.S against Syria and the Palestinian cause. Let’s face it, Syria has been vindicated since the Arab uprising, as those “moderate Arabs” and their masters suffered unprecedented humiliation. By giving in under the current environment, Syria will look indistinguishable from those who sold out to Israel and U.S, thus greatly diluting its hard earned gains.

Paul: Let me understand one thing: what could one have really expected Bashar to say? That from today on Syria is a democratic country? That people will obey traffic laws? That corruption will be over in a pass of magic? That the price of arghile will be lowered? In the circumstances i think he acted in the best possible way. Not in desperation but recognizing that change is needed. If he really understands where the wind is blowing he’ll do it slowly but surely. If not it will happen much faster and painfully.

Nabu:  The people of Syria want a defiant leader, a leader with balls and that’s the image he showed in the speech.  The people of Syria want a leader that doesn’t order things twice, not a weak and that’s the image he showed in the speech.  Today’s speech was a gamble, I will admit. A gamble because the minority of the people who are not scared to say things they think will not like it and they’ll get again to the street. But the reaction will be strong and that’s the image he now wants to show on the ground. The govt knows it’s coming, and it will tackle it. The liberty seekers will be cornered everywhere just like he cornered them in Hama.  Whatever he said, he is backed for every word he mentioned inside and outside Syria. He thought about it, he took his time and he thinks this is the best for the long run for him, his image, his community and for Syria.

Rula: Evey drop of blood in our veins is essential to our life. But for our leader, Dr. bashar, we give him all our blood and all our vessels because of him we live a happy and luxurious life, safe for our children and we give you our eyes – you opthimologist. Oh hero. It is rare to find such a man.

Syria All Mighty: May anyone who is a Wahabi know that their end is near. They only have 2 choices. They can leave our country and go live in their extremist paradise in Saudi Arabia, or they can stay and fight a losing battle. The Syrian people have spoken. The millions of Syrians who took to the streets to support our president have given them this ultimatum. If they were smart, they would leave. However, I may be asking too much of these barbarians to possess even a semblance of intelligence.

Shadi: Your laugh shook their grave, your laugh opened their grave. Your voice was a fire on them.

Talib: I thank Mr. President, Dr. for his care and genuine feelings when he talked about the unity of the Syrian people and when he thanked us for doing our duty and focusing on the importance of the wisdom of the people in rejecting the foreign conspiracies.

Judy: This is the best speech I have ever heard. God protect this president and this dear country. What do you think about those cute jokes that he made?

Zeina: President Assad said:  “The Blood that was spilled was Syrian blood. We all care about it. Those victims are our brothers. Their parents are our parents. And we should find the reasons behind the killings and those who killed them.”

Aamer: A thousand congratulations. A thousand thanks to God, and thousands of congratulations for our big victory over the campaigns of destruction and corruption.

Lina: The wisdom of the people is the protection of Syria. President Assad astonished us with his wisdom.

Antoinette: The speech ended too quickly, but every word was a lesson to us. And a good and new example in how to love the country and leader. Thanks you Mr. president. Thank you Abu Hafez. Thank you big brother. I am so fortunate for such a big brother, who sacrifices for the safety of the country.

Souri: A civil war won quickly by the regime won’t be bad if the alternative was chaos, division of Syria, and Islamist rule. However, the civil war scenario looks unlikely now that the revolution has failed to gain momentum among the Syrians.

Munzer: What Bashar did not learn from his dad Hafiz Al-asad?

Anyone was watching Bashar Al-asad’s speech yesterday on 30th of March 2011; he must have remembered his dad Hafiz Al-asad. Everything was the same, the atmosphere inside and outside the parliament building was the same, members of parliament were chanting for Bashar inside and ordinary people or may be (Mukhabarat ) chanting for him outside. Only one thing was different; the leader. Bashar is nowhere near his dad in terms of leadership charisma and seriousness. I think his dad told him to show strength and seriousness in such great events and unusual circumstances, but such things cannot be learnt, these are gifts from God and cannot be inherited or transferred along with power. Bashar’s biggest mistake yesterday in his speech was the lack of strength as well as not showing enough seriousness that match the level of the events that Syria is undergoing now. The events in Syria at the moment are the most dangerous ones since 1980s; Bashar knows that, so he should have showed far more seriousness than he showed yesterday. Seriousness never meant weakness, but strength. Yesterday’s speech seemed like a speech of victory, which should not be, it is not the time now to celebrate victory while there are mothers mourning their sons and others waiting for their sons and daughters to be released. He admitted that innocent people were killed, so showing not just saying some sorrow and grief was so important and necessary in order to convince the public and to win their hearts and minds. Words and just words are not consumable by the public anymore. Moreover, the nation is in a big danger and under a great plot from outside elements according to him, so the mood should be tense and edgy and not the right time for him to be cheerful….He failed to convince the people and to abort the revolution. No wonder why the people went into the streets of Latakia immediately after his speech to protest and express their anger. I think delaying the speech did not make it any better. Hafiz Al-asad’s speeches were doing the work of magic in the hearts and minds of people, not just among the ordinary people, but among well educated and well informed Syrians and Arabs, he was a great magician. Basher Al-asad could not reach the illiterates.

Equus: For all who keeps lingering about the emergency law. Look at the Egyptians..they toppled Mubarak on Feb. 11th and YET the emergency law is NOT lift with no specific date in sight despite the extreme pressure from the US. So why the media wants Assad to lift his in 24 hours.

Comments (37)

farid said:

is this supposed to convince us that most syrians living in syria support assad and his dictatorship? are you serious? the title of your post is very misleading.

March 30th, 2011, 11:33 pm


SOURI said:

Syrians inside Syria know better what the country is like. I myself grew up outside Syria, but I have lived in Syria for several years and I have got the chance to know many Syrians from many different regions, sects, and classes.

People who write from outside Syria tend to talk about the Syrians as if they were talking about themselves or their relatives. They are detached from reality. I don’t want to repeat what I said many times before, but democracy in Syria cannot exist unless we improve education first and reform the state’s institutions to an acceptable level. Democracy before these reforms means turning Syria into another Iraq or Lebanon.

March 30th, 2011, 11:56 pm


Karameh said:

I am very surprised at how some people are applauding the president, especially after that speech! I understand people don’t want chaos, but do these people not see that Syria has achieved next to nothing during the many Assad years? People who ask for liberty and freedom are not traitors…they are the real patriotic people of Syria who want the best for the country and their children. I had hoped that Mr. Assad would prove to be a reformer…what he did today is prove that he is no better than his father and those around him.

For those who are arguing that he showed he was a strong leader and would not be black mailed…who is black mailing him? His own people? Would he not have been equally strong if he had said that I am with the people and I will make the needed reforms? It was embarrassing seeing that speech…and it is more embarrassing seeing some of the reactions from within the country!

March 31st, 2011, 12:15 am


AIG said:


Bashar has been president 11 years, that is almost a generation of students that he has been in charge of. A child starting first grade when his rule began will soon graduate high school. So, what changes has he made to education? Is it better or worse than 11 years ago?
As for democratic institutions, which ones has he built in the last 11 years?

All Bashar has to do in order for people like you to support him is keep the education in Syria bad and not build democratic institutions. And then frighten people with an Iraq or Lebanon scenario. Until when will you accept such actions?

March 31st, 2011, 12:23 am


MSK* said:

Dear Josh,

How do you know those comments on the Facebook page are from people inside Syria? And even if so, how do you know those comments were/are not planted by the regime?

Actually, much more importantly, what do YOU think about all this? Where do YOU stand? What do YOU think should happen?

Tahyaat & all that,


March 31st, 2011, 12:25 am


NK said:

Ok Souri, I’ll play along ( I lived in Syria for 25 years and still spend a good 3-4 months a year there )

What reforms to state institutions did the regime implement in the past decade ? what institutions still need major reform ?

What exactly do you mean by improving education ?

March 31st, 2011, 12:25 am


SOURI said:

I think we have talked about education many times before. I am sorry but I can’t talk now about all the reforms that has happened in the last few years (e.g. private education, new curricula, more classrooms, more computers, etc.)

The Syrian government has done much to improve education recently. I am just not sure if they can keep up their plans after the current spending spree on salaries, etc.

There are, of course, many things that can be done and still have not been done. The main problem in Syria now is the lack of high quality higher education. The government must stop the stupid laws that force universities to teach in Arabic only and start seeking foreign investment in high education if they really want to improve education quality in Syria. The current reform plans for higher education are too modest and will not produce any substantial improvement until perhaps 10-15 years later.

March 31st, 2011, 12:41 am


SOURI said:

Almost everybody agrees that reform in the past 10 years was too modest. However, we can’t deny that the will to reform does exist.

People want Bashar to change everything, but they forget about the calcified mummies that run the Syrian institutions. Most people who run things in Syria don’t even want reform. I read a lot of Syrian websites and newspapers, and until now I can’t name even one website that genuinely supports economic reform. All websites (e.g. Syriasteps, iqtisadia, etc.) are hostile to reform and they still promote socialist ideas.

Worker unions, Baath institutions, university teachers, etc. all oppose the economic reform process. They want to keep Syria a socialist state. People who genuinely support reform are a little hated minority like Abdulla Dardari etc.

People forget all this and accuse Bashar of not doing enough reform. Bashar is not an absolute ruler. He has to deal with those rotten mummies wherever he goes in Syria. It is not easy for him to do the reforms he wants.

Things is Syria are very complicated, and reform is very hard. It is good that Bashar has managed to liberate the economy a little bit. I hope the recent crisis will help him do some reforms in the legal system.

March 31st, 2011, 12:58 am


NK said:

Those reforms to education are cosmetic, while they might improve the scientific quality, they’re really not doing anything to promote democratic values or encourage freedom of speech, the environment in which students are brought up learning “قائدنا الى الأبد” is the same.

Private universities are just as bad as public universities, they lack accreditation, global recognition and they contribute nothing of scientific value. Regardless, there is no freedom of speech (actually no freedom at all), so those colleges are not doing anything to promote democratic values.

Now let’s talk about those reforms of government institutions !!!

March 31st, 2011, 1:02 am


AIG said:

“People forget all this and accuse Bashar of not doing enough reform. Bashar is not an absolute ruler. He has to deal with those rotten mummies wherever he goes in Syria. It is not easy for him to do the reforms he wants.”


Bashar can make poets out of parliament members but he can’t make reforms because he does not have enough power? Please be serious. He can change the heads of any institution he wants in one second, even if it means changing the Syrian constitution. And by the way, Bashar is the definition of the absolute ruler. Bashar does not reform because he is afraid for the stability of his regime if he does.

March 31st, 2011, 1:06 am


NK said:

The notion that you think Bashar is not an absolute ruler is puzzling, he is the head of the government, he’s the only one with any legislative power, he’s the head of the judiciary branch and he’s the commander-in-chief of the army.
Those calcified mummies you’re talking about are the likes of those MPs who where jumping up and down and clapping in unison while chanting “بالروح بالدم”

His party announced those same exact reforms 6 years ago, he delivered none, and yet everyone is 110% behind him. until a week ago anyone who spoke remotely ill about him got beaten up/kicked out of the country, or got sentenced for a good 3-7 years. I’m not sure what other powers one would need to be in absolute control.

March 31st, 2011, 1:24 am


Shami said:

There will be more and more of Bashar’s posters that will be burnt and ripped and such stubborness can only be ended in blood for him and his inner cirlce and this is easier than many things think.
His end will be worse than that of Gadafi ,and there will be no need of civil war,the first anti-Asad large uprisings that will occur in Aleppo ,Damascus ,Hama will bring disarray and scare to them and at this moment ,each of them will think how to evade the country ,the rapport of force is at the advantage of the masses.
This pro Bashar stance from some businessmen close to the system are understandable ,their business is well connected to Asad-Makhlouf-Shaleesh mafia network.It only concerns 5% of the syrian population.

March 31st, 2011, 1:30 am


Shami said:

There will be more and more of Bashar’s posters that will be burnt and ripped and such stubborness can only be ended in blood for him and his inner cirlce and this is easier than many things think.
His end will be worse than that of Gadafi ,and there will be no need of civil war,the first anti-Asad large uprisings that will occur in Aleppo ,Damascus ,Hama will bring disarray and scare to them and at this moment ,each of them will think how to evade the country ,the rapport of force is at the advantage of the masses.
This pro Bashar stance from some businessmen close to the system are understandable ,their business is well connected to Asad-Makhlouf-Shaleesh mafia network.It only concerns 5% of the syrian population

March 31st, 2011, 1:42 am


Syria Almighty said:

The millions of people who showed support for the president are only 5%… LOL! You anti-Syrians are delusional.

March 31st, 2011, 1:55 am


NK said:


ليته استمر في صمته
عبد الباري عطوان

حرص الرئيس بشار الاسد طوال فترة خطابه الذي القاه امس في مجلس الشعب السوري على التأكيد ان هناك مؤامرة تستهدف سورية، وتريد تفجير فتنة طائفية في البلد، وهذا تشخيص صحيح نتفق فيه معه، ولكن ما نختلف عليه هو كيفية تحصين سورية في وجه هذه المؤامرة ووأدها في مهدها قبل ان تنمو وتتسع دوائرها، وتغرق البلاد في حرب اهلية دموية.
الاصلاح بشقيه السياسي والاقتصادي هو العلاج الانجع لافشال هذه المؤامرة، وعدمه هو الطريق الاسرع للفتنة، وقد اعترف الرئيس الاسد بهذه الحقيقة عندما قال ان البقاء بدون اصلاح هو امر مدمر للبلد، ولكن خطابه لم يتضمن اي فقرة او تعهد أو بشرى بالبدء في اتخاذ خطوات جدية في هذا الاتجاه، وكل ما تضمنه هو تلاعب بالكلمات، وتكرار فقرات وردت في خطابات سابقة، اي لا جديد على الاطلاق سوى التهديد والوعيد لاي انسان يجرؤ على شق عصا الطاعة، واللجوء الى الاحتجاج، لانه في هذه الحالة سيكون شريكا في المؤامرة ومحرضا على الفتنة.
خطاب الرئيس بشار الاسد الذي انتظرناه طويلا، خاصة انه جاء بعد ان اكد لنا نائبه ابن مدينة درعا السيد فاروق الشرع انه، اي الخطاب، سيتضمن اشياء سارة، وبعد ان تحدثت مستشارته بثينة شعبان عن الغاء قانون الطوارئ، والتعددية الحزبية، والحريات الاعلامية، وغيرها من المطالب التي وردت على لسان المحتجين، وقالت انها قيد الدراسة، توقعنا ان تكون الدكتورة شعبان قد مهدت الطريق لرئيسها لكي يزف البشرى الى الشعب، وانها ارادت ان لا تحرمه عنصر المفاجأة، بحيث يأتي خطابه دسما حافلا بالانباء الطيبة لشعب مسحوق تمرد على القمع والقهر والاذلال على ايدي الاجهزة الامنية، ولكنه جاء مخيبا للآمال، ومقدما وقودا جديدا لتأجيج الاحتجاجات، وتسهيل فرص نجاح المؤامرة الخارجية التي تحدث عنها الرئيس، اذا كانت هذه المؤامرة موجودة فعلا.
هناك عدة تفسيرات، او اجتهادات، حول اسباب احجام الرئيس الاسد عن تلبية مطالب شعبه في الاصلاحات:
الاول: ان يكون هناك انقسام داخل النظام الحاكم ومراكز القوى فيه حول هذه المسألة، فهناك جناح براغماتي واقعي يقوده الرئيس بشار نفسه ويريد اصلاحات سياسية حقيقية، يقابله جناح متشدد ينتمي الى عصر الحرب الباردة، ويرى ان اي اصلاح هو خطيئة كبرى يمكن ان تهدد بتقويض النظام من الداخل بما يؤدي الى انهياره، ويبدو ان الجناح الثاني الذي يضم قادة الاجنحة الامنية والسيد الاسد كانت له الغلبة في نهاية المطاف.
الثاني: ان تكون المظاهرات الشعبية التي نظمها النظام تأييدا للحكم، وانطلقت في بعض المدن السورية اخيراً، قد اعطت انطباعا للرئيس بشار بان حجم التأييد له في سورية اكبر بكثير من حجم المعارضة.
الثالث: ان يكون النظام قد توصل الى قناعة راسخة بانه قادر على قمع اي احتجاجات، والانتصار في اي حرب طائفية، لما يملكه من قوات مسلحة واجهزة امنية تدين غالبيتها بالولاء بسبب تركيبتها الداخلية، والاختيار الدقيق لقياداتها للقيام بالمهمة في حال حدوث الصدام المسلح.
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من الصعب علينا ان نرجح تفسيرا معينا من بين هذه التفسيرات الثلاثة، ولكن ما نرجحه هو عجز الرئيس بشار عن تنفيذ الاصلاحات التي حرص على التأكيد عليها في كل خطاباته على مدى اكثر من عشر سنوات من حكمه. ودليلنا على ذلك انه كشف في خطاب الامس عن مناقشة المؤتمر القطري لحزب البعث عام 2005 لكل هذه الخطوات الاصلاحية التي تحدثت عنها الدكتورة شعبان، ولكنه لم يقل لنا لماذا، وهو الذي قال انه يريد الاسراع لا التسرع، لم يتم اقرار اي منها طوال السنوات الماضية، وظلت هذه الاصلاحات حبيسة الادراج في ارشيف القيادة القطرية؟
الرئيس بشار الاسد يراهن على عنصر الوقت، ويؤمن بقدرة نظامه على تجاوز الازمة الحالية، وهذا هو حال جميع الزعماء العرب الذين واجهوا او يواجهون مطالب شعبية بالاصلاح والتغيير، ولكن رهان رئيسين في هذا الاطار ثبت فشلهما، الاول هو الرئيس التونسي زين العابدين بن علي الذي يعتبر عميد اكاديمية الحلول الامنية، والثاني هو الرئيس حسني مبارك الذي اقام اكبر امبراطورية امنية في تاريخ مصر والمنطقة، عمادها اكثر من مليون وربع المليون عنصر امني من مختلف التخصصات والتوجهات، بحيث كانت هذه الامبراطورية اكبر ثلاث مرات، على الأقل، من الجيش النظامي، وتستأثر بثلث ميزانية الدولة على الأقل.
عنصر الوقت ليس في صالح الرئيس بشار الاسد ونظامه، والشعب السوري لا يريد وعوداً بالاصلاح، وانما تنفيذاً فورياً له، وهذا من حقه، لانه انتظر طويلاً بحيث طفح كيله من شدة الانتظار، ولم تعد شعارات محاربة اسرائيل والتصدي لمؤامرات امريكا تطيل من حبال صبره وتحمله كل انواع البطش والقمع والفساد.
نعم.. امريكا واسرائيل تريان في سورية عقبة في طريق مخططاتهما في الهيمنة وابقاء العرب رهينة لهما، ولكن جربنا اربعين عاماً من مواجهة هذه المخططات بالكلام والشعارات النظرية، والشيء الوحيد المطبق عملياً في المقابل هو جلد الشعب واضطهاده وترويعه وكسر شوكته.
لا يستطيع النظام السوري، او اي نظام عربي آخر ان يقول بانه يجوع الشعب ويهين كرامته، ويعتقل رموزه المطالبة بالحرية من اجل تحرير الارض والمقدسات. فآخر حرب خاضتها الجيوش الرسمية العربية ضد اسرائيل كانت قبل اربعين عاماً تقريباً، بما فيها الجيش السوري.
الشعب السوري لا يريد فتنة طائفية، وهو على درجة كبيرة من الوعي بحيث يعمل جاهداً على تجنبها لمعرفته بمخاطرها على بلاده وحاضرها ومستقبلها، ودليلنا على ذلك ان هذا الشعب صبر اكثر من اربعين عاماً على الكثير من الممارسات الطائفية الطابع من منطلق هذا الوعي بالمسؤولية، ولكن ما حدث انه لم يكافأ على صبره هذا الا بالمزيد من القمع والاضطهاد في ظل قوانين الطوارئ والدولة البوليسية.
لقد اصابني الرئيس الأسد بالكثير من الخوف والقلق عندما قال في خطابه بانه اذا انفجرت الحرب على بلاده فهو اهل لها، ومستعد لمواجهتها، ليقيني بانه لا يتحدث عن حرب ضد اسرائيل، وانما عن حرب ضد الاغلبية من ابناء شعبه التي تطالب باصلاح سياسي وصفته مستشارته السياسية بانه استحقاق شرعي في مؤتمرها الصحافي الاخير.
لا يعيب الرئيس بشار، او حتى المتشددين في نظامه التنازل لشعبهم بالتجاوب مع مطالبه، حتى لو جاء ذلك تحت ضغط الانتفاضة الاحتجاجية، ولكن ما يعيبهم هو ان يؤدي الغرور والمكابرة وعدم التنازل الى جر البلاد الى فتنة طائفية يروح ضحيتها عشرات الآلاف او اكثر.
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لا نريد فتنة طائفية في سورية او اي دولة عربية اخرى، مثلما نؤمن في الوقت نفسه ان هذه الفتنة هي مشروع امريكي اسرائيلي تغذيه بعض الدول العربية، والهدف هو تجنب الاصلاح، وايجاد الارضية المناسبة لحشد العرب السنة في مواجهة ايران الشيعية، ولكن في الوقت الذي تعي فيه الشعوب العربية هذا المخطط وتقاومه، تسقط الانظمة في مصيدته، واولها النظام السوري، في مقاومة كل مطالب الاصلاح، والتعاطي بالقوة المفرطة والدموية مع المطالبين به.
الانظمة العربية الديكتاتورية تضعنا بين خيارين صعبين بل مستحيلين، الأول هو الوقوف في خندقها لانها تواجه مؤامرة، وترفض الاصلاح، والثاني ان نبارك التدخل الاجنبي تحت عنوان انقاذ الشعب من قمعها ودمويتها في حال اندلاع الثورة الاصلاحية، مثلما حدث ويحدث في ليبيا على وجه الخصوص.
لن نقف في خندق الديكتاتورية التي تذبح شعبها دون رحمة او شفقة، ولن نؤيد التدخل الاجنبي لمعرفتنا المسبقة باجنداته الاستعمارية، ولكننا سننحاز دائماً الى قول الحقيقة في زمن يتواطأ الطرفان على قمعها.
سنؤيد النظام السوري، ونقف في خندقه، اذا ما كانت حربه القادمة مع اسرائيل وحلفائها او في مواجهة الهيمنة الامريكية على المنطقة، ولكننا قطعاً سنكون في خندق الشعب اذا تعرض لحرب من النظام بسبب مطالبه المشروعة في الحرية والعدالة ومكافحة الفساد، فالشعوب دائماً ابقى واخلد من الانظمة، خاصة اذا كانت هذه الانظمة تضطهد شعوبها.

March 31st, 2011, 1:57 am


NK said:

Syria Almighty

Syrians can’t be Anti-Syrians, now Anti-Bashar … maybe.
anyways, Shami was talking about the 5% who are corrupt businessmen helping Bashar&gang steal the wealth of the Syrians.

As for the millions, I don’t know. Given that the demonstrations were staged (even the regime announced this fact), we have no way of knowing how many of those are genuine supporters and how many were there because they “had” to attend, let me know when you come up with a way to separate the two.

March 31st, 2011, 2:22 am


Hani said:

My family and friends, Christians, Sunnis, Alawi’s or Kurds and I mean every single Syrian I know without an exception could not believe how disappointing Bashar’s speech was. He had let them down completely.
I received calls all day long, virtually all were telling me that Syria has effectively entered a civil war because of Bashar’s denial of reality. We are talking about secular/liberal well educated Syrians not off any particular sect.
Bashar in his speech has relegated his authority to his brother and step brother. Syrian’s today realize perfectly well the price they will be paying during the coming weeks. All bets are out on who will prevail, and how much external players will influence the next few weeks. The Assad family will make Kadafi look like a gentleman

Finally you know fairly well that Syrian government employs hundred of people to blog in support of the government. You should further know very well that they play the sectarian card to maintain tight grip on power. They are very well aware that the Christian card gives the impression that the regime itself is not sectarian or better yet Tribal in nature.
There is a legitimate concern that Islamists will grab power in Syria. However and without a doubt they will not be able to maintain rule for long. Even the Sunni street does not support and Islamic run state.

March 31st, 2011, 2:31 am


Syria Almighty said:

Don’t be ridiculous. No one ‘had’ to be there. Did the Syrian government also ‘force’ people living in Canada, Armenia, Lebanon, Italy and the US to demonstrate support for it as well??? I’m so sick of you idiot anti-government worms who always have an excuse for everything. Forgot to tie your shoes? The government did it!

Did you forget the hundreds of thousands of Syrians supporting the government for the past few weeks, DEFYING government orders to stop? Or was this, too, another government plot of deception? Honestly, your kind have such a hard time believing that most Syrians support the government, that you are literally willing to believe ANYTHING as an excuse as to why it is all just an elaborate lie. Grow up and face reality. You want democracy? HERE is your democracy. Majority rules, not a minority of Wahabi terrorists. Backwards democracy belongs in Lebanon, not in Syria.

March 31st, 2011, 2:58 am


Shami said:

Syria al maghti, it’s your majless el cha3b ,it’s your bashar,maher,shaleesh and tlass ,it’s your choice.
We can do nothing with paranoid sectarian people ,they believe that their existence is that of this regime.

be with them till the end.

March 31st, 2011, 3:25 am


NK said:

LOL, you can yell, shout and call us names all you want, the demonstrations the other day were staged, and sure people demonstrated in support of the prisedent in those countries they also demonstrated a lot more in a lot more countries against him in Washington, London, Paris, Montreal, Brussels, Cairo, Berlin, Stockholm, Athens to name a few, hell they even demonstrated against him in Pakistan!!

Anyways I’m not sure why you’re all riled up, we are discussing Bashar’s speech and the reforms he’s been promising for 11 years, not our eternal love/hate for him. If you have anything to add to the discussion, please do. If you don’t, spare us the propaganda.

March 31st, 2011, 3:43 am


why-discuss said:

Maybe a Syrian Patriot Act… Assad forms panel to study lifting emergency law
(Reuters) –

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing a wave of demonstrations for greater freedoms, has set up a committee to look into replacing a decades-old emergency law with anti-terrorism legislation.

The state news agency SANA said on Thursday the panel would study and prepare “legislation including protecting the nation’s security and the citizen’s dignity and fighting terrorism, paving the way for lifting the emergency law.”

It said the committee would complete its work by April 25, but gave no further details.

Repealing emergency law, used for decades to snuff out any opposition to monolithic Baath Party rule, has been a central demand of protesters who have held two weeks of demonstrations in which more than 60 people have been killed.

Syrian officials said last week a decision had been taken to abolish emergency legislation.

But in his first public remarks since the wave of protests, Assad on Wednesday made no reference to rescinding the law, or setting a timetable for mooted reforms including legislation on political parties, media freedom and fighting corruption.

The United States dismissed Assad’s long awaited speech, saying it failed to meet expectations built up by Assad’s officials last week at the height of the protests when they said he would announce a clear programme of reform.

Thursday’s announcement was unlikely to convince skeptics.

“When you set up a committee in our part of the world it means you want to bury the issue,” said Hilal Khashan, political science professor at the American University of Beirut. “He’s buying time.”

March 31st, 2011, 8:12 am


Revlon said:

Jr! announces state of alert of a Conspiracy, and declares a secular-Islamic blend of “Jihad” on the Syrian Peoples Revolution!

He addressed his parliament, the cheer leading clowns, instead of looking the nation in the eye.

His attitude was defiant

Substance of the speech was free of immediate plans for reform.
It included re-activation of plans discussed in the 2005 Baath party’s once-in-a–blue-moon general assembly meeting.
No work plan and no time frame.

Jr. announced state of alert of a Conspiracy. It is a pretext for:
– Moral justification for the planned crackdown on demonstrators, intended for the outside world consumption
– Keeping and enforcing the Emergency laws.

He declared war on the revolution.
He called his mission Wa2dulfitnah
He described his quest as: patriotic, moral, and religious duty
It is a secular-Islamic blend of Jihad!

The Syrian Peoples’response!
To follow!

March 31st, 2011, 8:17 am


Souri expat said:

To Souri (comment no. 3)

“I don’t want to repeat what I said many times before, but democracy in Syria cannot exist unless we improve education first and reform the state’s institutions to an acceptable level. Democracy before these reforms means turning Syria into another Iraq or Lebanon.”

Has it occurred to you that to get good, honest and effective education you need to build effective insitutions? That you cannot build effective institutions unless you have equal opportunities for the best professionals to staff and manage them? That to get equal opportunities you need a democratic system? Has it escaped your notice that African tribal and low-educated countries like Ghana and Rwanda that embraced democracy have improved their education and health at speeds and to levels not dreamed of in Syria? Dictatorships can be quite effective and efficient in mobilizing brute force but a complete failure in developing their countries economically, culturally and technologically. Has has progressed in recent years despite dictatorship, not because of it. This speaks volumes about the resourceful and talented Syrian people but not their current leadership.

Please reflect on these issues. It is not a sin to change your mind!

March 31st, 2011, 9:22 am


Revlon said:

.. وأد الفتنة واجب وطني وأخلاقي وشرعي وكل من يستطيع أن يساهم في وأدها ولا يفعل فهو جزء منها.. والفتنة أشد من القتل كما جاء في القرآن الكريم فكل من يتورط فيها عن قصد أو من غير قصد فهو يعمل على قتل وطنه وبالتالي لا مكان لمن يقف في الوسط.. فالقضية ليست الدولة بل الوطن.. المؤامرة كبيرة ونحن لا نسعى لمعارك.. الشعب السوري شعب مسالم وودود ولكننا لم نتردد يوما في الدفاع عن قضايانا ومصالحنا ومبادئنا.. وإذا فرضت علينا المعركة اليوم فأهلاً وسهلاً بها.

Jr.’s announcement of his blend of jihad against conspirators

Jr. says: You people are either with us or against us in facing Fitnah, no middle ground (Bush Jr. said that long ago!)

Jr says: We are ready for the battle!

March 31st, 2011, 9:32 am



President Asad has a duty to defend the country from enemies, both external and internal, and protect it from any danger.
He clarified what the dangers are and who the enemies are and what his government’s duty is.
In defending the country there is no middle ground.
As much as you dislike him and what he represents in your opinion and your beliefs, he has to fulfill this ominous duty.
I fail to understand why do you call it a Jihad when it is simply his duty to carry out, which he must.

March 31st, 2011, 11:16 am


nafdik said:


Does not his duty include insuring the safety of Syrians. Does that include Syrian protesters?

He clearly failed his duty when 100 Syrians were SHOT ‘mysteriously’ in the past 2 weeks.

March 31st, 2011, 12:02 pm


mussboot said:

I’m cautious about directly talking to any of them about it, but my family and friends in Syria who are on Facebook all appear to be calling for unity–perhaps they are cautious about expressing any dissent, but mostly what I sense is fear. There are calls for civil discourse, respect for people’s opinions, but no clear opinions being put forth. This video has been posted repeatedly:

March 31st, 2011, 12:07 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“Well-Heeled” Poetry NewZ

MSK asks Professor Josh:

Actually, much more importantly, what do YOU think about all this? Where do YOU stand? What do YOU think should happen?


It is hard for an Assad supporter like Professor Josh to say, plainly, Assad is a horrible leader. Especially when married into an alawi family and frequent travel to his wife’s homeland. The “King” and his “Yes Men” are cut from the same cloth.

Everyone else (99.9% of the thinking world) knows that Assad is an empty suit protected by merciless thugs.

Here’s a snipet from his recent Time article:

Having been brought up in privilege in Damascus, the President has more in common with the capital’s elite than he does with the Alawites of the coastal mountains who brought his father to power. When Bashar al-Assad took over after his father’s death in 2000, he began liberalizing the economy and society. High culture has boomed. Foreign imports, tourism and arts are being revived. Today, Syria is a wonderful place to be wealthy; life is fun and vibrant for the well-heeled.

For the impoverished majority, however, the picture is grim. One-third of the population lives on $2 a day or less. Unemployment is rampant, and four years of drought have reduced Syria’s eastern countryside to a wasteland of dusty and destitute towns and cities like Dara’a. The last thing wealthy Aleppines, Homsis and Damascenes want is a revolution that brings to power a new political class based in the rural poor, or for the country to slip into chaos and possible civil war.

The Arab rebellion is sorting out the countries of the Middle East, distinguishing those that have become true nations, with a cohesive political community and an ability to leave behind the postcolonial era of dictatorship and repression, from those doomed to struggle by divisions of ethnicity, sect and tribe. Lebanon and Iraq have both stumbled. Libya is crashing before our eyes, and Yemen may also follow in a downward spiral.

In all likelihood, there is no soft landing for the Syrian regime, whether it comes sooner or later. Fearful of being pushed from power and persecuted, Alawite military leaders are likely to stick by the President. What remains to be seen is whether the Sunni elite, which has stood by the Assad family for over four decades in the name of security and stability, will continue to do so — or whether President Assad is willing to risk making profound and risky changes.


March 31st, 2011, 12:34 pm




It is absolutely his duty. There is no contradiction in his duty to defend the country and insuring the safety of Syrians, including Syrian protesters.

He carried out his duty when he issued orders to relieve the Governor of Daraa and the chief of military security in Daraa from their positions, pending investigation of the circumstances and actions that lead to the deaths in Daraa.
Investigations are in progress concerning other provinces including the deaths in Latakia.

Riots, mayhem, hooliganism, violent confrontations, the destruction and burning of public and private property, are not what peaceful protesters do, certainly not patriotic reformers, regardless of their chants and slogans, and it is his and his government’s duty to prevent anyone from dragging the country into chaos.

He simply stated that in carrying out such duty, there is no middle ground.

March 31st, 2011, 1:06 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

Those with BULGING SUITS curtesy of the American taxpayer certainly practice their socalled “chutzpah” with the grace of receiving $1989 US dollars per each child, woman and man every day of of the year.

Enough said.

March 31st, 2011, 1:22 pm


Riad said:

Dear Mr Landis,

I for one think it is extremely misleading of you to make that insinuation about people “inside/outside” Syria leading to that notoriously false conclusion.

To your description of commentators on that page as mainly Christian and Alawite, well that is EXACTLY THE point!

Does it fool anyone anymore to lash out at “Islamists/Wahhabis/Taleban/Extremists” … what have you, like a certain person here does 99% of the time? Is the use of those adjectives sufficient to conceal the stinky sectarian sentiment in such comments?

Please publish this one. I think I have a right to speak my mind, all in the spirit of the great reforms we’re witnessing!

March 31st, 2011, 2:45 pm


Riad said:

Syria Almighty,

Whatever happened to the word “regime”? Why do you keep calling it “government”?

And please stop bashing Wahhabis. It’s more obvious than anything that you are referring to observing Muslims.

And I don’t think Mr Landis will publish this either.

March 31st, 2011, 3:08 pm


Riad said:


وإذا فرضت علينا المعركة اليوم فأهلاً وسهلاً بها

Bush also famously said once upon a time: “Bring it on”.

P.S. Thank you Mr Landis for publishing my previous comment. You are, after all, a product of a free environment. I wish Nidal Ma3louf of Sectaria-news.com would take example.

March 31st, 2011, 3:13 pm


Mussboot said:

I can’t tell for sure whether “Antoinette” is lovingly or ironically reffering to the president as “Big Brother”

April 1st, 2011, 10:05 am


The Arab awakening and Syrian exceptionalism | Souria Today said:

[…] both insufficient and ill-judged. In Syria, where I was, the address played rather differently, at least for many. Understanding just why reactions were so divergent points to a different logic behind the address […]

April 10th, 2011, 9:26 am


Coma Cat said:

“hell they even demonstrated against him in Pakistan!!”

The hell are you on about? You know nothing about politics in Pakistan, the demonstrations are all instigated by pro washington parties that buy the “revolution” story, and lets face it, a lot of people that casually depend on the western media to update them on events without knowledge of their various omissions of the truth tend to buy the story since in most cases, they don’t suspect anything. The western media has launched a ruthless demonization campaign against the Assad regime and fortunately, a lot of people still know a demonization campaign when they see one. These are the people who support Assad. The western media has played the ‘evil dictator’ card one too many times and while some are truly dictators, it doesn’t take too much research to come to a real conclusion without “independent”, “arab” channels like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya pointing you towards one. Not because we have a vested business interest in the regime in anyway. Also, it’s hard to buy the atlanticist version of events after they have wreaked so much havoc in their quest for domination in every corner of the world. The agenda has been clear to many people all along, a lot of us know that Al Qaeda is nothing but a CIA asset that they strategically use to topple secular stable governments and/or use as a boogeyman to invade various countries under various pretexts. Couple that in with political parties funded by Wahhabis that can summon their religious students at anytime to rally against the “heretic” Alawi leader and you have a recipe for an ill fated “revolution”. The kind Washington has forced upon many people in many parts of the world. And you say the pro government people are forced to attend. I pity the fool who still believes western media channels and/or channels that take cues from them. Peace.

March 5th, 2012, 1:31 pm


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